Niu Rou Mian (牛肉麵), Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe!!
When I went Taiwan, the first food I MUST try was this Niu Rou Mian, Taiwanese beef noodle soup. It is the most popular and famous Taiwanese food I’ve heard about, and I’ve had outside of Taiwan. So I was craving for the real authentic version.
The first one I tasted was in the plane while flying to Taiwan. It didn’t blow my mind at first but with some Taiwanese chili oil, it was bomb!! Then I went to a couple of authentic good niu rou mian restaurants in Taipei, Taiwan. It was SO GOOD!!! I had to recreate beef noodle soup when I came back home.
It is so hearty, warm, and flavorful. It has everything that you want from a good bowl of noodle soup! I’m so excited to share this recipe because it tastes almost identical to what I had in Taiwan!
This recipe is time-consuming but not too bad because the broth is not from bones. Total prepping and cooking time is about 2 hours. A hearty dish like this is not bad at all!
Are we ready to start cooking one of the warmest beef noodle soup? Let’s get started!
First, we need to gather and toast our spices. You will need 2 Chinese black cardamoms, 2 bay leaves, 2 star anise, 2 licorice slices, 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorn, 1 tsp fennel seeds, and 1 tbsp goji berries.
I know these spices look very different and intimidating at first. Just think how many Mexican, Italian or Cajun cuisine has. This is just the Chinese version of it. 😉
Also, if you have only a couple of spices I listed, go ahead use only those! It will still be super delicious! Though, bay leaves and Sichuan peppercorn are a must!
Bring all spices for the spice bag and toast them on a dry pan until you can smell the aroma, about 2 minutes. Place in a spice bag and fold it tight. Set aside.
Cut 2 beef shanks into large pieces.
Beef shank is the traditional cut for this niu rou mian, but if you are having hard time finding one, you can use beef chuck too.
Blanch beef in a large pot (8 qt) of boiling water for 1 minute to get rid of excess blood. Drain and set aside. Quickly rinse now-empty-pot to make soup.
Heat now-empty-pot over high heat and add cooking oil. Add garlic, ginger, onion, and green onion. Sauté everything about 1 to 2 minutes, then add toban djan and rock sugar.
A lot of Asian soup recipes calls rock sugar because it has more rounded and smooth sweetness than regular sugar. It works wonderfully in savory soup without overpowering the flavor.
Sauté all together for 1 minute then add soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce and salt, stir.
Add blanched beef, tomatoes, and beef bouillon. Stir everything together so tomato melts and beef will absorb sauces, about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour water and finally add a spice bag. Stir one good time and bring it to boil. When it’s boiling, cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes.
When soup has about 10 minutes to finish cooking, bring another pot of salted water to boil. Blanch baby bok choy for 1 minute and remove from water. Set aside.
Cook wheat noodles by following the directions of the package you’re using. You can use fresh, frozen, or dry wheat noodles.
Drain and place in a serving bowl.
Pour beef soup into noodle bowl, garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro. Serve immediately.
Niu Rou Mian Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 8 to 10 1x
For Spice Bag
- 2 Chinese black cardamoms
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 star anise
- 2 licorice slices
- 1 tbsp sichuan peppercorn
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp goji berries
For Beef Soup (makes 8 to 10 serving)
- 2 beef shanks (approximately 1 1/2 lb to 1 3/4 lb), cut into large chunks
- 6 tbsp cooking oil
- 15 to 18 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 oz ginger slices
- 1/2 large onion, sliced
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 3 tbsp toban djan
- 1 large piece of rock sugar or 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup shaoxing wine
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large tomato, cut into large chunks
- 2 tsp beef bouillon
- 14 cups cold water
- baby bok choy, cut into half (1 baby bok choy per serving)
- fresh, frozen or dry wheat noodles (1 portion per serving)
- chopped green onions & cilantro
- Bring all spices for spice bag and toast them on a dry pan until you can smell aroma, about 2 minutes. Place in a spice bag and fold it tight. Set aside.
- Blanch beef in a large pot (8 qt) of boiling water for 1 minute to get rid of excess blood. Drain and set aside. Quickly rinse now-empty-pot to make soup.
- Heat now-empty-pot over high heat and add cooking oil. Add garlic, ginger, onion and green onion. Sauté everything about 1 to 2 minute, then add toban djan and rock sugar. Sauté all together for 1 minute then add soy sauce, shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce and salt, stir.
- Add blanched beef, tomatoes and beef bouillon. Stir everything together so tomato melts and beef will absorb sauces, about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour water and finally add spice bag. Stir one good time and bring it boil. When it’s boiling, cover and reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes.
- When soup has about 10 minutes to finish cooking, bring another pot of salted water to boil. Blanch baby bok choy for 1 minute and remove from water. Set aside. Cook noodles by following directions of package you’re using. Drain and place in a serving bowl. Pour beef soup into noodle bowl, garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Thanks Seonkyoung for the recipe! Can’t wait to try!!!
This is pretty similar to how I do it.
I use a couple of her spices and herbs.
I never use sugar, instead I use a combination of carrots(caramelized) pineapple and/or daikon, and I think the flavor of rice wine goes a bit better😉
Good job, love it.
Hey Seonkyoung! I’m planning to try your beef soup dish soon in the pressure cooker, how long do you think I should do it for? I’m thinking 1 hour 🙂 what do you think? Thanks heaps!
I’d say one hour would cook it pretty well!
I made this today and absolutely loved it I added a bunch of shitake and enochi mushrooms and a fww chili peppers.
Hi Seonkyoung ! Can’t wait to try this, recipe looks simple and delicious as always. I don’t have powder beef bouillon, can I use stock cubes? Would I just use 2? Thanks in advance 🙂
Yes! Cubes would work perfect as well!
I’ve cooked this many times and its a family favourite, thanks so much for the great recipe.
If I wanted to add some heat to it (hot spice), how would you recommend going about that?
Yay! So glad I could help! I hope my other recipes can be as helpful!
Today I tried this recipe and I can say the flavor is amazing!!!
Thank you so much for your energy and vibes in all your videos you are the best.
Love you Seonkyoung!!
Thank you so much! I’m so glad I can help out with my recipes!
Very easy to follow!!!
I cooked this last week and tonight I’m cooking again my husband love this so much. Thank you so much @Seonkyounglongest..
I cooked this in Australian winter this year and it was so so delicious. The recipe was easy to follow and I am planning to make it for the whole family again next week!
Where can I find these pretty porcelain measuring spoons?!
A WOW dish! Absolutely a hit in my family. Thanks for the easy to follow instructions. Planning to cook another time soon.
So glad I could help!
Having been to Taiwan twice in 2019, beef noodle soup was the one dish that I loved so much that I had it multiple times. I decided to try making this recipe, hoping it would be something similar to simple yet wonderful meal. I have never understood how a single bite could transport you to another place until now. That first sip of this broth and I was back in Taipei in a back alley restaurant on a rainy afternoon enjoying what had just become my favorite meal. The flavor of the broth and the tenderness of the beef are exactly as I remembered. I never expected that I would be able to recreate that experience, but here it is. In my kitchen, and in my bowl. To anyone who has been to Taiwan and is missing this dish, Seonkyoung has captured it for you. To anyone who is thinking about traveling there in the future, make this dish and let the debate be over. Until we can travel again, this recipe right here is how you bring Taiwan to your home. Thank you Seonkyoung! To say that I absolutely loved it is an understatement.
Love this recipe, the Noodle dish turned out so well. Thank you for sharing!
So glad I could help!
Great recipe! Will definitely make this again. Used store-bought spice packet. Skipped the sichuan peppercorn as I only whole type and was worried that it will be too spicy. The recipe already came spicy with the peppercorn. Also, Will use traditional pressure cooker next time. Thank you for this amazing recipe.
Cooking time can be the same as the original recipe!
pretty good recipe. I cook it on a regular basis when i’m in need of “confort food”.
Only thing is i let it simmer a bit longer (2h30) to be sure the beef shank is melty enough. Which is in line, in terms of cooking time with similar beef stew recipes we have in France.
It’s a pleasure to read yours.